Home » Governance » Furious Ex-PMs Plan Protests Over Unpaid Allowances, Says Struggling to Survive

LAWMAKERS from Zimbabwe’s 7th Parliament are mulling a combination of court action as well as demonstrations in a bid to force government to cough up allowances that, in some cases, have been outstanding since 2008.

One of the coordinators of the impending court action, Gift Dzirutwe, former legislator for Glen Norah between 2008 and 2013 said the ex-lawmakers “are tired of being sent from pillar to post”.

“The frustration I feel is collective and cuts across party lines,” said Dzirutwe in an interview Tuesday.

“All channels of communication have been exhausted and bore no fruit despite us giving evidence that those we owe have instituted legal proceedings against us.

“In most cases loans were accessed on the back of letters signed by government acknowledging owing former MPs substantial amounts of money in arrears.”

He added: “Whilst parliament seems extremely concerned with our plight treasury is not the least perturbed.

“We will meet before weekend to map the way forward (in order to) get redress. The general feeling is to picket at Parliament or approach the courts of law.”

Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government has been struggling to pay civil servants and is in arrears towards its obligations to legislators from the 7th parliament and the current 8th parliament.

Angry former MPs who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said new Clerk of Parliament Innocent Chokuda aised them that he had not received any commitment from treasury on when the money could be paid.

It appeared the former lawmakers are rallying, each spoiling for a showdown with authorities this week.

Some members of the group of former MPs told NewZimbabwe.com that they have fallen on hard times and needed government to pay their dues.

“The Ministry of Finance has not given parliament any firm commitment hence he (Clerk of Parliament) cannot promise anything yet. He would not encourage us to demonstrate against parliament but cannot stop us either,” said a member of the disgruntled group.

“The Speaker is free he can meet us but it is a gamble. Let us all turn up and decide on the way forward.

“Members of the 7th parliament should approach the Constitutional Court for, in any case all debts should be paid with interest but in our case the money has been held since 2008 and has never been paid with interest.

“For some it has been nine years since they got anything from parliament.”

Government owes former MPs about $4 million in outstanding dues.

Most of the former legislators are struggling to make ends meet particularly those that did not make it into the current Parliament.

Source : New Zimbabwe